How are Rural Health Clinics Serving Pediatric and Obstetrical Medicaid Populations?

Research center:
Project funded:
September 2021
Project completed:
March 2024

This mixed methods study examined the extent to which independent and provider-based services are serving pediatric and obstetrical patients covered by state Medicaid Programs. Using Medicaid Claims and brief qualitative interviews with 9 to 12 Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) that specifically provide pediatric or obstetrical patient services, researchers addressed the following research questions:

  1. To what extent are RHCs providing pediatric and obstetrical services to patients enrolled in state Medicaid programs? Are there variations across states?
  2. What diagnoses are most common for Medicaid pediatric and obstetrical patients using RHCs?
  3. Are there differences in the extent to which provider-based and independent RHCs serve Medicaid pediatric and obstetrical services? Are there differences across the rural continuum and/or census regions? Are there differences in the extent to which RHCs serve pediatric and obstetrical services in Medicaid expansion vs. non-expansion states?
  4. What are the Medicaid rates and reimbursement and coverage policies for pediatric and obstetrical services provided by RHCs?
  5. What are the challenges and operational considerations encountered by RHCs providing pediatric and obstetrical services?